The Little Things Newsletter #296 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! As I begin today’s newsletter, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to be where we are in Sean’s recovery. (Backstory here, here, and here.) He’s home, only using supplemental oxygen at night, and overall he’s doing great.

In the bigger picture though, I’ve never been reminded more of the fact that we have hope for a future. While I grew up in a family of faith, believing in heaven and an afterlife with Christ, I know that everyone reading this doesn’t share our beliefs. However, that faith has gotten me through each day, sometimes each hour recently.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 ESV

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While I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a Christian, it hasn’t always been at the forefront of my writing on the website. And let’s be real here, I write about food and occasionally our travels, so it isn’t always the most relevant addition to a recipe for the best ever ranch dressing. I am always open to sharing more about my faith if someone is interested, but it’s never been my thing to be preachy or to beat someone over the head with it all.

That said, it’s been an honor to pray with you all this week as I’ve read your emails and heard your stories. My heart has ached along with many of you. It’s been a rough couple of years for everyone, and this year has started with an extra helping of pain for so many. 

If there is something I can pray for with you this week, hit reply on this email or leave a comment to share it with me. It will be my privilege to join you in prayer.

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

If it interests you, Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity is a solid explanation of our beliefs.

Moving on to the deliciousness in life, here’s what we’ve been eating lately: all the soups and grilled cheese sandwiches! We’ve had Lasagna Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, {Busy Day} Potato Soup, Green Chile Stew, and Italian Vegetable Soup already this year. 

We’ve also had the best ever tomato soup, at least 4x already. I can hardly wait to share that recipe with you, once I break out my camera again. Oh! And my friend Gaby brought us a terrific sausage and fennel pasta for dinner and I already asked her if she’d share the recipe. You can bet I’ll be playing with that one to share with you as well.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this Epsom salt bubble bath. I’ve been using this bubble bath for almost three years now, ever since we moved to Ohio, and soaking in the bath at night became one of my favorite things.

There aren’t many things more relaxing than a hot bath after a stressful day and let me tell you, I’ve never appreciated it more than I have this month. This bubble bath smells incredible, feels amazing, and it’s super affordable too. That’s a triple win and I always have a backup bottle or two stashed in the closet.

What I’m READING / LISTENING TO: 1984 by George Orwell. We’re actually listening to Steve Parker’s dramatized audiobook on YouTube. While I’ve read the book before, this audiobook is new to me and I recommend it. It’s excellent with the sound effects.

What I’m WATCHING: Free Guy. This was such a fun and ridiculous movie. Ryan Reynolds did a great job with it and the kids and I laughed and laughed. It was a much-needed break from days spent at the hospital.

I’m pretty sure we’ve never watched this much tv or this many movies in our lives. Buffy, Twin Peaks, Yellowstone (I was assured that it mellows out after the first few episodes, I’ll keep you posted on that one.), Stranger Things, and Yours, Mine, and Ours (the original) to name a few. Some are long-time favorites and others are new to us. 

While doing our best to take it easy and not do too much too fast, we’ve been spending a lot of time in front of screens. I can’t complain though, what’s not to love about snuggling with Sean on the couch more than ever before?

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:1‭-‬3 ESV 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!


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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Gaby says

    Just got caught up on all the posts I’ve missed, and wanted to say I can’t WAIT to see your version of the sausage and fennel pasta!

    So happy life is returning to normal for you all! ❤